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22nd October 2014

Bemidji City Hall Council Chambers were packed last night for a candidate forum. The forum was divided into two segments, the first hour for County Commissioner and County Attorney candidates and the second for those running for Bemidji City Mayor and City Council.  Candidates for county and city posts responded to questions from the audience of about 75 people on a  wide range of topics and issues. While every candidate was given the opportunity to answer every question - there were a lot of questions from the audience directed specifically at the candidates for Beltrami County Attorney.  When asked what makes her the better candidate - Annie Claesson-Huseby said its her experience in the Beltrami County Attorney’s office.  Her opponent, David Hanson,  said that he has all the experience required for the position and makes him stand out is that he is from Bemidji.  One of the questions posed to the candidates for Bemidji City Mayor and Council Member at Large was what they felt was the most important issue currently before the council.  Mayor Rita Albright said pending litigation was on the top of her list.  Jorge Prince said that he feels the most important issue relates to the financial future and stability of the city. The league of Women Voters Bemidji Area sponsored last night’s forum and they are sponsoring another tonight Bemidji City Hall.  State Representative candidates will face questions beginning at 7pm.   Mayoral candidates will meet again on Thursday evening at 7pm for a debate at Bemidji High School. 

22nd October 2014

Bemidji Fire Department responded to a house fire in Eckles Township on Tuesday morning. The fire, which was reported at 11:27 AM by a passerby, was located in the 6400 block of Eckles Rd NW.  Upon arrival Bemidji Firefighters found the home completely engulfed in flames.  Seven firefighters used on e Fire Engine and two Water Tenders on the scene.  No injuries were reported, however the home and its contents were a total loss.  The cause of the fire is under investigation, however it appears to be accidental in nature.

21st October 2014

Motorists on Middle School Drive will be asked to slow it down a little more during high traffic times in the area of the Bemidji Middle School crosswalk.  The Bemidji City Council passed a motion Monday night, approving a school speed zone in the area of the Bemidji School crosswalk.  This school zone will require motorists to reduce their speed to 25 miles per hour on Middle School Drive between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.  City staff has been working with Bemidji School District officials to make the crosswalk safer and more visible.  A traffic study was completed that found that a school speed zone in the area would be warranted. 

21st October 2014

Target Corporation has awarded the City of Bemidji Police Department $1500 for the purchase of new digital cameras and equipment.  Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin says that the Police Department routinely takes photographs at calls for service. These calls include, but are not limited to accidents, animal impounds, assaults, burglaries, domestic violence, property damage, search warrants, welfare checks and crime scenes. Photographs are used by Bureau of Criminal Apprehension lab technicians, Officers, Detectives, Social Services, Prosecution and many more to assist in successful prosecution of criminal acts. The Bemidji Police Department sought funding from the Target corporation through a recent grant opportunity for the purchase of new Digital SLR cameras, lenses, SD cards and Pelican cases. 

15th October 2014

On Monday, October 13, 2014 the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office, represented by Dispatch Supervisor Beryl Wernberg and Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel were visited by the members of the Bemidji Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union employee's as part of their "Plus it Forward" campaign.  Even the smallest acts of kindness can have positive ripple effects and can add up to something great. When you do something nice for someone else, you can significantly improve their day and inspire them to help others. Plus It Forward cards are a fun way to create a culture of kindness and generosity in your community. Do something nice for someone else today and encourage them to Plus It Forward. Visit www.plusitforward.org to print a plus it forward card.

 How It Works

 "Plussing It Forward" is easy. First, do something considerate for someone else and then share your story online. When you write your story, you can enter your card code to track the ripple effect of your kindness. Then give away your Plus It Forward card to challenge others to follow your example. Inspired by a Commitment to Community The Plus It Forward movement was founded by members of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union. Affinity Plus is a Minnesota-based financial cooperative that believes in putting people first.

14th October 2014

Pets and their people now have a new place to play.  The Bemidji Parks and Trail Commission and the Nymore Dog Park Committee celebrated the completion of the Nymore Dog Park this (Tuesday) afternoon.  The park on Miles Avenue includes a small dog area and a large dog area.  Marcia Larson, City Parks and Recreation Director, said that she is excited about the park and excited for the people who worked hard to bring this amenity to the city parks system.  The Nymore Dog Park Committee raised over $15,000 to help make the park a reality with the City of Bemidji contributing $20,000.  Along with the small and large dog areas, the park has benches and other amenities, including a water fountain for people and a doggy water fountain.  A special Halloween event is planned at the park October 23rd.  The Bark N' Boo event includes a costme contest.  For more information or to sign up to participate, contact the City Parks and Recreation Department.

10th October 2014

A missing duck hunter near Mille Lacs Lake forced to spend the night in the woods is a good reminder that anyone spending time outdoors should know wilderness survival basics, said an official with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  A recent news release from the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office said that 76-year-old Glenn Huff of Garrison had become disoriented while hunting and was unsure of his whereabouts. Rather than wander aimlessly, Huff then “hunkered down with his dog for the night, and at first light started to make his way back to his vehicle.” The following morning Huff and the dog met up with sheriff’s office deputies who reported Huff in excellent condition following the incident. “That incident is a good reminder that anyone can get lost in the woods, including hunters,” said acting Capt. John Paurus, DNR enforcement education program coordinator.

Panic is an enemy for those who get lost. They should remember the acronym S.T.O.P.

SIT: They should collect their thoughts and realize they are not lost; they just can’t find camp or vehicle.THINK: What do they have at their disposal both physical and mental that can help them in this situation? Inventory survival kit and start to develop a plan.OBSERVE: Look around, is there shelter, water, an open area where searchers could see them?PLAN: Create a plan of action. Pick a spot that to build a fire for heat and signaling. In addition, can the spot provide basic shelter?

A basic survival kit can be packed into a quart zip-lock bag and should contain the following:

Basic shelter materials: Two 55 gallon garbage bags and 30 feet of braided mason’s line.Means to start a fire: Disposable lighter, waterproof matches or matches stored in a waterproof container, or 10 feet of toilet paper or Petroleum Jelly soaked cotton balls in a waterproof container.Means of signaling: Whistle, signal mirror (could be an old CD). A fire is also a signal.Means of knowing direction: A compass.Comfort food: Food bar, nuts or trail mix.

Anytime people head outdoors they should plan for the unexpected and be prepared to spend the night in the woods. Here are some musts before heading out. Always let someone know the destination and return plan.Carry a compass or GPS and know how to use it.Carry a basic survival and first-aid kit.Carry a cell phone.Check the weather and dress for it.

9th October 2014

During a special session last night, the Bemidji School Board approved a plan to for how to accommodate the districts growing elementary-aged student population if the November 4th referendum is not passed by voters. In a unanimous vote, the board agreed to reconfigure grade levels, moving the 8th grade to the high school and 5th graders to Bemidji Middle School. This board action directs district staff to start working to reconfigure the grade levels. The reconfiguration will not occur if the two questions on the November ballot pass. The questions would authorize the construction and operation of a 4th and 5th grade elementary school.  To learn more about the questions on the November ballot, visit the Bemidji Proud website http://www.bemidjiproud.com/

3rd October 2014

Recently the Beltrami County Recorder's Office has been contacted by county homeowners who have been the recipients of a mailing that looks like an official government document advising the "State Record Regulation Department" suggests all homeowners obtain a copy of their current Grant Deed.  This company charges $87.00 to obtain your deed for you.  This company claims to be the "Record Retrieval Department" at 11436 Marketplace Drive N, Division 101, Champlin, MN  55316.

Our County Recorder's Office will print a copy of your deed for you for $1.00 if you make a request directly to the County.

Once again, the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office would like to remind folks to ignore solicitations from any company, agency, department or entity who you have not sought out yourself and with whom you are familiar.  If you haven't contacted the entity for your own purposes do not fall victim to any unsolicited contact from any entity who wants your information, identity or your money.

1st October 2014
For the first time, 13 Minnesota utilities are joining forces to fight back against scams.  Reports of phone and email billing scams targeting Minnesota utility customers are increasing at an alarming rate, representing thousands of dollars lost by customer victims. In an effort to shut down scammers, the Minnesota utility coalition today launched “Slam the Scam,” an awareness campaign aimed at warning customers and preventing scams.  The coalition is encouraging customers who think they are being targeted by a scammer to simply end the conversation – “slam” down the phone.  Protecting personal and financial customer data is a top priority for utilities, and they are working to provide solutions to protect the public from scams. Utilities want customers to know how to identify a scam. If they are behind on their bills, they will receive a written notice before service disconnection. Customers who have not received a disconnection notice in the mail should not engage anyone on the phone or by email demanding to take payment. Instead, customers should hang up and contact their respective utilities to verify account status and report the attempted scam. They are also encouraged to report the incident to local law enforcement.

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